Sunday, January 31, 2010

peace in our hearts and homes

dear emily,

it used to tickle me when people would say, at social events,
"you have FIVE children?  how can you be so peaceful?"

"umm, maybe because they aren't here with me!"

but truly, our home was peaceful.  my nature required it,
and so i worked very hard to nurture it.  hans and i didn't
raise our voices at each other or the children and didn't
allow them to do that, either.  we encouraged happy play
that didn't cross the bridge to wild, loud chaos.

the only real enemy of peace was fear.  sometimes it would
sneak up and seize me like a mad dog.  "you're a terrible
mother, you can't do this, or your baby isn't going to make
it through the night!"

a few weeks before shelby was born, i was paralyzed with
dread that we might lose her.  her big brother, isaac, had
not been expected to live after he was born, and i couldn't
face that again.

hans' mom, my junior high sunday school teacher, did not
tolerate my fearful behavior. "God has not give you a spirit
of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind!"
2 timothy 1:7

in other words, "snap out of it!"

or, as Jesus always used to say, "peace!"


Saturday, January 30, 2010

bizarro blog

for some reason my silly computer reposted the 'spanking' post
for today.  i wrote it days ago!   just don't read it.  i'm certainly
not going to...

to spank or not to spank

dear emily,

this is going to be a bit tricky, because i know many people are very
opposed to spanking, but i wanted you to know how we handled it.

when our children reached a certain age and willfully disobeyed
us, they received a spanking.  our motivation was primarily their
safety.  when we said, "don't run into the street or touch the stove,"
they knew we meant it.

we also wanted to be able to take them lots of fun places and
not terrorize the people around us.  we have had waitresses
run after us and say, "those are the best behaved children i have
ever seen."  hard working people deserve respectful behavior.

the children were never, ever spanked for childishness,
accidental spills, or roughhousing, etc.   those kinds of deeds
received timeouts, removal of privileges, or simply cleanups.

i'm sure there are parents who have successfully raised happy,
confident, respectful kids, having never spanked them.  i just
don't personally know any.

i also know that spankings can quickly turn the ugly corner
to abuse, which is heartbreaking and despicable.

not long ago, when all the kids were home, i lamented that we
ever spanked them.  shelby looked at me in horror and said,
"mom, i hate to think what we would be like if you hadn't!"

"the Lord disciplines and chastens those He loves,"(heb. 12:6)
 is not exactly a refrigerator verse, but we don't get to pick and
choose the easy ones when we choose to follow Him.


Friday, January 29, 2010

mushroom soup

dear emily,

this is NOT a food blog.  whenever i call out, "time for dinner!"
my kids, husband, and westie run to hide.  while reading a new
recipe,  my imaginative side thinks it can improve it just a little
bit by adding...something it shouldn't have.

on the other hand, i occasionally, serendipitously create some
yummy dishes, that i, of course, can never remember to make
again.  not this time!

i sauteed a yellow onion until it was tender and sweet in olive
oil, seasoning, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for punch.
(do NOT expect a wonderful picture here.  those are on the
pioneer woman's blog.  she knows what she is doing)

then i diced up a purple potato, the only kind i had, into 1/4
inch pieces. i sauteed them with the onion a few minutes,
turned off the burner and covered the pot for a long time...
time enough to write three thank you notes, put away the
laundry, skype with sunday, and exchange funny messages
with hailey on facebook.

when i looked into the pot, the potatoes were almost tender,
so i turned the heat back onto low and threw  in a ton of sliced
portabella mushrooms, two  big handfuls.  i was a little worried
that the mushrooms wouldn't like the potatoes' strange color.

once the mushrooms were cooked, i tossed everything into a
processor, mushed them up, poured them back into the pot,
and added lots of milk and cream.  delicious!  didn't look one
bit purple, just nice and mushroomy, which hans loved...a



dear emily,

i'm sitting at my cozy kitchen table sipping a yummy home
made chai latte, trying not to let the ingredients spoil the
pleasure.  you can't imagine how much sugar and frothy
milk make your starbucks' latte taste so delicious.

the lovely soft snow falling outside my kitchen windows
completes the setting.  oh my gosh, i sound like barbara
stanwyck from "christmas in connecticut!" myspace graphic comments
Free Twitter Backgrounds

because we have had such a big winter storm, my friend
d. is bringing me a rick of firewood.  you probably know
her, she is that spiritual tornado, who forces you to 'walk
the walk'.  she and her husband have recently taken in an
alcoholic father and son.  they now attend three celebrate
recovery meetings a week and help his thirteen year old
with homework at all other times!

she makes the father chop wood for his keep, hence my
rick of wood.  rebecca dunning wrote a moving piece
in today's "24/7" journal, entitled 'think global/act local!'
they have camps of people without jobs in colorado,
holding up signs saying, "we need jobs, propane, food,
and water." her husband just delivered a rick of wood to

sounds like d.!

this is making me feel a little guilty about my latte.
"wash me and i will be whiter than snow."  isaiah 51:7


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

principles in peril?

dear emily,

hans and i had a disagreement about whether we would lay
down our principles in order to save our children. he is a man
of such integrity and honor that he could not fathom doing it.

i, on the other hand, said that i feared what i might be able to
do in protecting my children.  i promptly went through the ten
commandments in my mind and thought, "yep, i am capable
of breaking everyone, even making little idols of my little ones."

something transpired in my meek heart, once i had that first
baby;  a lioness replaced the lamb who had always ruled there.
i need the Lord to continually draw me near to keep her claws
under His rule.

when two women were fighting over a baby, king solomon
wisely said, "let's just cut it in half, and you can share him."
the authentic mother cried out at the thought and was willing
to give him up rather than injure him.

i cringe to think of giving up any of my precious ones, but i
need to be willing to do that, too, if it would save them from

so, here's a question:  what is the most extreme thing YOU would
be willing to do in order to save or feed your children?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a living hero of the faith

dear emily,

hebrews 11 lists many of the heroes who have gone before us.
my family has one walk in our front door three days a week.
miss edna came to us ten years ago, and i do not know what
we ever did without her.

the Lord's Spirit goes before, after her, and all throughout the
house.  His Name is continually lifted up in the kitchen, living
room, hallways, and stairs.  heated arguments dissolve when
they hear, "Jesus" sung from the rafters.

fifteen years ago, miss edna adopted her niece's ten day old
baby.  the mommy was in prison, and the baby had been
shifted from foster parent to foster parent.  now he is a big,
strapping young man who plays in the band.  my dad helped
him learn to read by the strangest coincidence.

since then, miss edna has adopted three of his little brothers
from the same crack addicted mother.  all suffered from
some degree of withdrawal, but the latest baby the most.
it was just heartbreaking to see a week old baby, shivering
and arching his back from his mother's addiction.

sometimes she brings them here to our delight.  loston (ten)
consistently beats me at chess.  the last time the babies came,
my girls were just in stitches to hear little isaiah (two) saying
to his baby brother willis (one), "hush, willis...hush, willis."

whenever i ask miss edna if she's ready to stop working here,
she says, "oh no, i need a quiet place to come and rest!"  :)

she turned 64 today.

i bet paul mccartney never envisioned a sacrifice of love
so great as hers.


to spank or not to spank, comments

for some reason, people were not able to leave comments
on the spanking post.  i really want to hear what you think
about this, since it is could be very helpful to young moms.

so,  please just comment here.  thank you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

she takes the prize

dear emily,

if you can imagine a dark haired 'lucy' who sings as well as
ricky, then you know my friend b.  i walk with her every week,
and always say the same thing to hans that evening, "b. is like
good medicine to my soul."  she makes me laugh, cry, and want
to do...well, MORE!

we knew each other in high school but were very different from
each other.  she was so zealous for the Lord that she fasted 'make
up' on friday, while i was  more concerned about whether i had
a date on friday.  she never  held that against me, though, which
is one of  the things i love about her.

when everyone else went to college, she headed for an israeli
kibbutz and fell in love with m.  after he asked her to marry
him, she said, and i quote, "i bear witness to that."

how romantic.  :)

they promptly had six kids, all at home in a party-like atmosphere.
mine were born in a hospital in an anesthetic laced atmosphere.

she recently tested out of college without ever having taken a
single class and is now getting her masters in biblical studies.
have you ever heard of such a thing?

what an inspiration "to press on toward the goal to win the
prize..." philippians 3:14


Sunday, January 24, 2010

bedtime stories

dear emily,

do you ever have a difficult time putting your kiddos to bed?
we had some pretty funny trials.

hans always wanted to tuck the kids in, because he missed
them all day.  the loose schedule was for everyone to brush
their teeth, go to the bathroom, get a drink, and dive into bed.

he would then tell them a story, usually one he made up about
larry lizard lips, who he drew on their chubby little tummies.
they would giggle hilariously at the silly escapades and travails
of poor larry and beg for 'just one more story!'

the boys were pretty good about falling right  to sleep after
prayers, the girls were another story.

after they were safely tucked in, heartaches expressed and
prayers said, there would be the inevitable, "daddy, i need
another drink...from the kitchen...NOT the bathroom!"

"daddy, i need to go to the bathroom, again!"

"daddy, you tucked shelby in longer than me!"

"nuh, uh! sunday got tucked in way longer!"

but, the best ever was from hailey,  "daddy, there's a bug on

seriously, a bug?


ps.  "the Lord gives to His beloved in their sleep."  Psalm 127:2

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a sound of music birthday

dear emily,

i just received a 'brown paper package all tied up with string', and
stickers, and pretty tape from shelby for my birthday (51!).  she has
always been incredibly thoughtful and artistic with gifts and their

the brown paper package gathered me right to maria from "the
sound of music."  she made the most profound impact on my young
life, and my children will tell you that they have nightmares about
all the songs from that musical.  'how do you solve a problem like
my mother?'

their mother would spontaneously rapture about 'confidence in
sunshine' on a beautiful day and they would want to go back
inside.  at the end of the day, she just couldn't keep herself from
singing, 'there's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the
hall' and they would run madly to their rooms to escape her.

she ruined their hikes by exploding, 'high on a hill was a lonely
goatherd' and 'climb every mountain.'

the sad truth for my children is that there is a song for every
aspect of life.  i wonder if any other children have called
DHS for being 'sound of musiced' to death...

'i must have had a wicked childhood',

Friday, January 22, 2010

good or great mom

dear emily,

i had sort of an epiphany tonight while watching "the book of

it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to be a good mom, but to be
a great mom costs everything:  relationships, reputation, personal

am i willing to endure family members' disapproval to do
something unorthodox that will benefit my child?

am i willing to lose a friendship, because of a vital difference
of opinion regarding our children?

am i willing for school administrators to think less of me for
standing up for my child?

am i willing to lay down my dream to...because my child
needs special time and attention?

sometimes, we just have to say along with the father from
mark 9:24, "Lord, i believe, help my unbelief!"  Lord, i am
willing, help my unwillingness.



dear emily,

you have heard the saying that the glass is either half empty
or half full.  more importantly, we need to make sure that rich,
hearty stock fills our mug, so we have something sustaining
to pour into our little one's cup.

i have been flooded by inspiring quotes and messages this

first, my cousin lane (as in sunday lane) sent a list of five things
we  should do.  if you would like me to email the entire
motivating story, just let me know.

1.   everyone is significant and deserves attention.

2.   help people, you may encounter an angel.

3.   remember and reward those who serve you.

4.   the obstacles in your path may reveal treasure.

5.   give when it counts.

this, of course, reminded me of haiti and encouraged me
to dig in my pockets a little deeper...and wiser.  i have been
so touched by your little ones' gifts to the haitian children.
it also reminded me to open my eyes and SEE people.

jesus said, "whatever you do to the least of these, you
do unto me."  matthew 25:40

i will save the other inspirations for another day.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

sunday lane

dear emily,

twenty years ago hans and i were anticipating the arrival of our
fourth baby.  since we knew it was a girl, we were throwing
around names and fell in love with 'sunday lane', after my cousin
lane.  little did we know that the lovely name would so perfectly
suit our precious daughter!

she was born with such a thick head of hair that the nurses fought
over her.  school teachers, piano teachers, sunday school teachers,
and basketball coaches have been slugging it out ever since.

the angelic blue eyes, long blonde hair, and sweet nature were
always at odds with her eagerness to keep up with her two big
brothers, who were basketball fanatics.

when she was four, hans took her with him to the barbershop.  the
men were so enchanted, that they interrupted their discussion about
college basketball to pat her on the head and ask if her daddy ever
took her to the games and who she wanted to win.

"well, if 'big country' can keep up his inside game and corey hit his
three's, OSU should win... but somebody needs to be able to drive the

yep, that's my girl!


"don't let anyone look down on you because you are young..."
(or blonde.)   I timothy 4:12

teaching little boys

dear emily,

i have had several moms fretting about their little boys and school.
it is really so unfair that most schools are geared toward little girls,
who delight in slipping into their seats, arranging their pencils
neatly in the tray and their books beneath.

little boys, on the other hand, view their classrooms as auschwitz
death camps, and those same desks as torture chambers.  the only
redeeming grace is that the desk makes an excellent drum for the

mrs. hitler, unfortunately,  does NOT allow any drumming,
tapping, whistling, or paper throwing.  the children must walk in
straight lines, not touching their neighbors, to the exercise yard,
where no pushing, pulling, or wrestling is tolerated.

School Kid

when your little one comes home, however, you can let him
run and play until his heart's content.  after he has worn himself
out, spend a very short time teaching him, and a very long time
reading to him about every adventure you can find.  make sure
he is snuggled in tight, as that is the only confinement he loves.


ps.  i'm sure many boys have cried out, "save me, o God, for the
waters have come up to my neck!"   psalm 69:1

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

cell phone to the rescue

dear emily,

a few months ago i sent a text to my dear friend, annie, and
her reply was, "@#XTL&!"  i called her and said, "oh sorry,
i didn't know that you didn't text!"

she responded, "i'm getting a lot better!" :)

we walk and pray together about once a week, and i am
always after her to recite the copious amount of scripture
she memorizes.  recently, annie mentioned  that she sends a
daily scripture to her precious daughter who lives far away.

i asked her if she could send it to me, too.  when she
paused a second, i wondered if she knew about the email
'Cc column',  but then she smiled sweetly and said, "sure!"

imagine my surprise the next day to receive a text of
scripture that filled my screen four times!  my thumbs hurt
to think about it...  and when had she learned to text?

"well," she said, "r. is working so hard and might not
check her computer but she always checks her phone."

i put that in the supermom category!


"many women do noble things, but you surpass them all!"
proverbs 31:29

endearing cell phones

dear emily,

it worries me to imagine who my children love best in the world.
i suspect it might be their cell phones.  not sure whether they
think of them in masculine or feminine terms,  but am certain
they consider them in terms of endearment.

they fuss at me for not keeping mine with me at all times and
scold me for calling it a car-phone.  does that hurt its feelings?
i hope not, because mine has been in the car for eight straight

when i reclaim it, there will probably be an emphatic message
asking, "mom! why don't you ever...?"  i immediately delete

occasionally, one of my darlings will start a conversation
like this, " hey mom, how is your cell phone?"

is that a trick question?

it is tempting to respond, "oh, it's ok, but a little under the

if i really want to frustrate them, i might say, "great!  but it
keeps making this annoying ringing noise."

hans just told me that if i don't turn it off while we are
flying, it will keep searching all day.

for what?????


"call to Me, and I will answer you and tell you great and
mysterious things."  jeremiah 33:3

Sunday, January 17, 2010

fun adventures

dear emily,

every morning when max awoke, the first thing he would
say was, "what fun stuff are we going to do today?"

how adorable is that?  just like his daddy!

it broke my heart to have to respond, "phonics."

it took him forever to learn the alphabet.  what did silly
letters have to do with running and jumping, playing in
the mud, or climbing trees? we learned letters on the
trampoline, in the play house,  on our bikes.

we finger painted letters, glued letters and shook sparkles
on them, i had planes write them on the sky...

one day, in desperation, i said, "if you will just say the
alphabet one time, i will take you to mcdonald's!"  he
promptly sang the entire song.

by the time we got to the multiplication tables, i was using

he recently sent me paschale's treatise on "why God?"  i
was never so proud to see letters put to such good use!


psalm 40  "i waited patiently for the Lord...and He heard
my cry."

Monday, January 11, 2010

thief in the night

dear emily,

like most children, ours would tumble out of their beds
as the sun arose.  if ever they slept in, i had a pretty good
suspicion about the cause.  one morning after an unusually
long quiet time, i looked around for an urchin.  not finding
any, i then sauntered back to my bathroom.

hans was sleepily shaving....hmm

"honey, do you think it's a little strange that every single
child in this house is still asleep at 7:15?"

he opened his eyes a little wider, pretending shock.

"is there anything you would like to tell me?"

eyes looking furtively left to right, head shaking
innocently, "no..."

"you know that when your little conspirators wake up,
all sweet and vulnerable, they will give you up in a
heartbeat.  you might as well confess now.  it will go
much easier for you that way."

he was beginning to break  into a sweat.  i had him right
where i wanted him.

"what do you think the neighbors are saying about you
sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night?  how
do you think that makes me look?"

"ok, ok, i confess!  the kids and i made a midnight donut

"did you bring me any of those cinnamon ones?"

oh yeah,

ps.  "they feast on the abundance of your house."  psalm 36:8

route of delights

dear emily,

hans has an amazing gift to squeeze the enjoyment out of life.
if i have the record for giving the fastest baby bath or changing
the quickest diaper, then he has the personal best of making
those events the most fun.

when taking the children to school, i had a precise route that
took exactly twelve minutes.  each child had his coat, books,
and lunch and were always five or ten minutes early for class.
we would frequently recite bible verses on the way.  sounds
super fun, huh?

it never worked out that way if hans took them.  i would
receive calls from school that sunday forgot her math
assignment, hailey needed me to bring her lunch, or that
the kids had been tardy, again.

so, after a little investigating i discovered that hans had a
special route, too, that wound throughout the neighborhood,
stopping for a donut or checking on the bus stop kids. he
and his accomplices would shout out the windows, "hey
jimmy, have fun at school!"  and little jimmy would shout
back, "hey mr. h!"

donuts?  "well, the kids didn't really like the whole grain
muffins.", hans mumbled.

jimmy?  "just this friend we made one day.",  his conspirators

it was way more fun if they thought they were in trouble.


ps.  "...You give them drink from rivers of delights."  psalm 36: 8

Sunday, January 10, 2010

thank you, vee!

dear vee,

thank you for your extremely kind and generous tribute to
my little blog.  if you knew what a precious mommy emily
is, then you would understand my inspiration.

i know how dangerous a little praise can be and have
reminded myself of psalm 131!

"my eyes are not haughty, my heart is not proud.  i do not
concern myself with things too mighty or wonderful for
me.  i will put my hope in the Lord..."


Saturday, January 9, 2010


dear emily,

we have had the longest cold spell that i can ever remember.
ponds have frozen over for the first time.  our swimming pool
even has an inch or two of ice.

ironically, our freezer blitzed out because the inside iced over.
in a short time, our food and even the freezer drawers were iced
completely shut.  the freezer was too frozen to do what it was
made to do.

i couldn't help but think about the times when my heart has become
cold through pain, selfishness, or sin.  i couldn't love those dear to
me or accomplish any of my necessary tasks well. it was difficult to
even get out of bed.  my heart felt as if it were made of stone.

ezekiel 36:26 says that He will give us a new heart...that He will
remove our heart of stone and give us a tender, responsive heart.
who wouldn't want that?

back to the frozen freezer....we had to leave the door open all night
and blast it intermittently with a  blow dryer and space heater.  you
can imagine the eventual pools of water, towels, buckets, hard work!

i think our hearts are worth at least that much work.


myletterstoemily: lilies of the field

myletterstoemily: lilies of the field

myletterstoemily: a cup of cold water

myletterstoemily: a cup of cold water

myletterstoemily: this little light of mine...

myletterstoemily: this little light of mine...

Friday, January 8, 2010

a now a word from our Sponsor...

dear emily,

my dear friend, patricia, just gave me one definition for being
offended: the bright light hurts.  a sweet young man in our
community has just surrendered his broken life to the Lord and
has offending some of his peers by his zeal for Him.   that is a
bright light that can use some shining!

when i was a little girl, my grandma watched a soap opera
that opened with the grand statement, "and these are the days
of our lives!" those poor people made one devastating choice
after another.  i remember shouting, "no, no, no!  don't do

i just told patricia that sometimes my family  feels like an
episode of 'day of our lives.'  one poor decision after another.
it can get very disheartening, and the enemy whispers,
"you're no better than the soap opera.  you are disqualified
from all your hopes and dreams."

that's when i need a word from my Sponsor, who tells me
that He isn't disillusioned with me, because He never had
any illusions about me.  He loves me, anyway.

now unto Him who is able,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ordered chaos

dear emily,

in raising five lively children, i had to establish some order for
my sanity.  i think children are happier, too, when they have a
framework of consistency.

our afternoon rest time was set in stone, to the extent that hans
had a brass plaque installed at the front door.  it said "do not ring
the door bell between 2:00-4:00...babies sleeping." :)

the babies and toddlers needed their naps, while the older kids
could read or play quietly but had to stay in their rooms.  they
sometimes even fell asleep, too, because they were up with the
sun every morning.  i, of course,  fell into what can only be
called 'death sleep.'

after naptime, we had a snack and watched 30 minutes of TV
to help me transition back from the dead.

one afternoon while watching the lone ranger, isaac mentioned
to max that their great granddad had been a bonafide cowboy.
max narrowed his eyes, "nuh, uh!"

"seriously, he was a real cowboy!", isaac responded.

"ok, well, how many injuns has he killt?" the ultimate litmus
test, i guess...

ninja warriors

dear emily,

we had our last family dinner for hailey's 18th birthday before all the
chicks fly off to those terrible places that steal my children.  :(

max wondered if everyone knew he was getting the most 'hits' on my
blog.  "that's because you are the orneriest.  i'm trying to make young
mommies everywhere feel good about their rugrats."

it did, of course, remind me of two characteristic 'max' stories.  when
isaac was seven, he thought max was the funniest little guy ever (his
own personal 'calvin' minus the 'hobbes'.)

max, who was three, idolized isaac, his big brother who could do
anything better than anybody else.  to get any school work done,
i had to separate them into different rooms.

one time, isaac was drawing an intricate ninja warrior battle.  each
ninja had about three swords, a ten foot long spear, and multiple
machetes, knives, etc. hanging from their leather belts.  max was
bouncing up and down with anticipation of the picture's completion.

he just couldn't stand it anymore, and cried out, "when are you
going to have that ninja shove his spear into that guy and have
blood and guts and brains pouring out all over him?"

isaac quickly glanced at me to check my barometric pressure.  i
was speechlessly horrified, and before i could respond, both boys
were tumbling on the floor in a crazy wrestle laughing their head's

i think i will save the other story for another day...


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the sacrifice of pain

dear emily,

there are oceans of joy and laughter in raising children.  unfortunately,
there are also rivers of heartache.  the pain associated with our own
hopes and dreams diminishes in the wake of our childrens' pain and

there is a secret, i think, to pulling out the scarring thorn of these
heartaches.  it is the balm of gilead, the sacrifice of pain at His altar.
i have never seen it fail after 25 years of raising children and fifty
years of raising me.

the beauty is in its simplicity... no counseling, no memorization of
scripture, no fasting, no fighting...

one of my own dear ones is going through the valley, so i am
recently acquainted with this sacrifice.  if i had a stone to show
for all of my past sacrifices, i could build a little cottage.

here is my powerful weapon that extinguishes the fire from the
enemy's arrows.  when my children experience sorrow, i tell
them to lay their grief on His altar, showing their yieldedness
to His will.

one of two responses from Him are both very sweet.  He either
sends His grace and peace to soothe our pain from the loss or
restores that which was stolen from us.

the costly part, of course, is trusting Him and being willing to
lay down what we want to wrestle back.  after all, don't we
deserve it, doesn't  it rightfully belong to us?  david said that
he wouldn't think of sacrificing something that cost him nothing.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

quintessentially emily

dear emily,

i have a small dictionary of interesting words that intrigue me.
unfortunately, i rarely use them, because it would seem pretentious.

however, i can't seem to help myself from saying that you are the
quintessential renaissance mom.  your wisdom and intelligence are
met by kindness and vulnerability.

like the famous woman from proverbs, you stay up late and rise
early to see to the needs of your lively family.  your hands are
always busy, making lovely clothes and wholesome, delicious
meals for your children, crafts for your home, and gifts for your
lucky friends.

your husband is respected in the gates of the city and blessed
beyond measure with your goodness.

your children have been raised with exceptional love, foresight,
and creativity.  i'm sure they will all become spiritually sensitive and
artistic scientists. :)

the poor in spirit receive benevolence from your kitchen and
generosity from your heart.

well done,

Friday, January 1, 2010

van helsing's ideal woman

dear emily,

isaac gave me a beautiful copy of stoker's "dracula" for Christmas,
and i was so moved by van helsing's praise of mina, that i wanted
to pass it along to you.

van helsing is a brave, perceptive professor who has discovered the
the horrific vampire rampage.  mina  is a lovely and troubled bride
whose industrious foresight delivers the final piece of the puzzle.

in response to her respect and sensitivity, he says:

"my life is a barren and lonely one...and you have given me hope
that there are good women still left to make life happy---good
women, whose lives and whose truths may make good lesson for
the children that are to be..."

later he extols mina to her husband, jonathan:

"she is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show
us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can
enter and that its light can be here on earth.  so true, so sweet, so
noble, so little an egoist."

mina is the humble, contrasting light to dracula's egocentric
predatory shadow.  sounds like a proverbs 31 woman to me.